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Sinema's Silence on New Spending Deal...Good Sign or Bad Sign?

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

She's the most powerful woman in Washington right now. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is the vote that will decide if the Democrats can clinch a long-awaited legislative win. 


The liberal media has already declared this a significant victory. Some have noted the deal Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) hashed out with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is another progressive defeat. The moderate wing triumphed. Let's slow it down a bit, folks. Sinema has yet to make a decision. If she says no, this bill is dead. She wasn't keen on carried interest or the corporate tax hikes in previous pieces of legislation. Manchin told her to trust the bill (via Politico): 

Attention Kyrsten Sinema: The deal between Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin reflects your “tremendous input,” doesn’t raise taxes and is altogether an “all-American bill.” That’s, at least, according to Manchin.

As Sinema (D-Ariz.) weighs whether to support the party-line energy, tax, deficit reduction and health care legislation, the West Virginia senator fanned out across all five Sunday shows to make the case for his deal. The moment reflected how intensely Manchin is now pressing to pass a package that only a few weeks ago he was lukewarm on, at best — and why he thinks Sinema should support it.

And Manchin had plenty of work to do during his quintet of appearances, with hosts pressing him whether the bill really fights inflation and how imposing a new minimum tax on large corporations might affect the economy. Faced with those questions, Manchin said simply on “Fox News Sunday": “We did not raise taxes. We closed loopholes.

He also made sure to credit Sinema with cajoling Democrats into that tax-skeptic position after many in her party weighed surtaxes on high earners and pushed for rate increases. Though Sinema’s stayed quiet since Manchin and Schumer announced the deal on Wednesday, Manchin said that he “would like to think she’d be favorable to it.”

Kyrsten Sinema is a friend of mine, and we work very close together. She has a tremendous, tremendous input in this legislation,” Manchin said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “She basically insisted [on] no tax increases, [we’ve] done that. And she was very, very adamant about that, I agree with her. She was also very instrumental” on prescription drug reform.


Well, that's a lie, Mr. Manchin. The bill does raise taxes. Meanwhile, Republicans threw cold water on Sinema supporting this agreement. This spending proposal is far from being finalized, and Sinema won't kowtow to party pressure, according to Sen. John Barroso (R-WY) (via The Hill): 

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Sunday said the new spending deal between Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced last week is “far from done,” suggesting possible opposition from moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Barrasso told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo that Sinema “felt blindsided” by the Inflation Reduction Act, which was announced last week and shocked Capitol Hill.

“She has a spine of steel. She’s not going to easily be twisted,” Barrasso said of Sinema. “In terms of, will this pass, they need all 50 Democrats on board and in the room. … They haven’t had 50 senators show up for work in well over a month. So, this is far from done.”

Sinema has so far remained publicly silent on the deal, which Manchin and Schumer announced just two weeks after Manchin had said he would not support any climate package or tax reform given soaring inflation.

Again, not shocking either. It's no secret that the Arizona Democrat is fiercely independent and doesn't care what Schumer thinks; she will do what she feels is best. That has put her at odds with some of her party's most prominent initiatives. It's been days since Sinema has said anything about the Schumer-Manchin proposal. Democrats must be sweating bullets. With Labor Day and the final weeks of the midterms ahead, this is the last attempt to get anything done. 


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